“El trabajo no es basura“ / Work is not dirty

This photo was taken in the premises of the El Álamo cooperative, one of twelve cooperatives that have been integrated to the city of Buenos Aires’ environmental services. These two members of the cooperative are sorting plastics. Along with their colleagues, they consider that working with waste “is not dirty” and actually holds a value. The cooperative processes 200 tons of waste per month. Their work, together with that of other associations of recuperadores, generates significant savings for the municipality which would normally pay per ton to have their waste buried. In Argentina, these cooperatives have accomplished significant progress over the past few years: their challenge was not only to improve their members’ working conditions and their collection, recycling and marketing capabilities (by bypassing intermediaries), but also to achieve greater visibility, ensuring that their contribution to the urban economy and to the environment is recognized.

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